Burke: Give thanks for sacrifice abroad, at home

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. Darryl W. Burke
  • 82nd Training Wing commander
As the traditional day of feasting and family gathering draws near, let us remember those whose loved ones serve in distant places across the globe.

Whether serving a post along a perimeter, in a Quonset hut or in a headquarters building, our memories flood home for the holiday season. Give thanks for the sacrifice made by our personnel serving on remotes or deployments, and by those who serve at home waiting for their return.

We are grateful to our good Texas neighbors who have taken in more than 300 Airmen as they face the first time away from their family dinner table. A great example of giving and receiving, this Chapel program offers our Airmen the chance to meet new people and understand that any assignment can become a second home. This 33-year tradition shows how deeply the surrounding communities care and support our service members.

Across the base, Services, the Exchange and dining facilities are doing everything they can to make this holiday weekend special. Senior leaders will join me in helping serve Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings at the Tumbleweed dining facility. Getting to serve and talk to our young trainees will be the highlight of my day.

The Exchange will serve up the typical shopping extravaganza beginning at 4 a.m. the day after Thanksgiving and Services has ensured facilities across the base have programs available. As this is my first Thanksgiving at Sheppard, the exceptional mission, tremendous warmth of the people and high patriotic spirit gives me many reasons to give thanks.

Our Safety Office recently garnered five of the seven AETC awards they competed in and will go on to represent us at the Air Force level. Awareness and preparation were key factors. No one knows when an accident will occur, so be prepared. In the kitchen, at the table or on the road we are all susceptible to the freak accident. Remember, your military training may be instrumental in the response and potential of saving someone's life.

Take advantage of the four-day holiday - come back safely, de-stressed and with some great stories.

Looking toward next week, take time to participate in the 2010 Caring for People survey. It will arrive via e-mail with a link and the survey is asking for your opinion on a variety of services offered on base.

The Air Force wants to capture the viewpoints of our Airmen, spouses, civilians and retirees. From the results, we'll determine the best use of resources to maximize our Air Force quality of life at Sheppard AFB and throughout the Air Force.

Doreen and I hope that you and your family have a Thanksgiving filled with blessings.